Shoreline Resilience Solutions

Rincon’s Shoreline Resilience team provides climate change-related services for coastal, marine, wetlands, estuarine, bay, and delta systems.

At Rincon, our specialized team of scientists, engineers, and planning experts are dedicated to developing innovative solutions to climate-related issues, while increasing adaptation and resilience for all of California’s diverse shoreline systems. By combining our scientific and engineering expertise with our planning experience, we provide solutions that meet Federal and State resource agency requirements and reflect local priorities and opportunities.

Our team of experts handles climate-related coastal analysis, planning, and resilience projects including coastal development, redevelopment, flood protection and mitigation, sea level rise, coastal and shoreline hazards, restoration of tidal, coastal and marine habitats using nature-based solutions, and shoreline and climate change adaptation plans, including local coastal programs and sediment management plans. The Rincon team has a strong understanding of environmental assessment (CEQA/NEPA) and regulatory permitting compliance, governance structures and grant opportunities, and has the capability to design and execute trigger-based monitoring programs along the entire California coastline, including sheltered bays, tidal, and wetland systems.

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Technical Studies
  • Site-Specific Sea Level Rise Analysis
  • Coastal Resiliency and Sediment Reuse Studies
  • Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment
  • Coastal Hazard Monitoring Program Design and Execution
  • Wave Runup and Wave Overtopping Analysis
  • Aerial Survey
  • Shoreline Dynamics Studies and Modeling
  • Shoreline Restoration and Nature-based Design
  • Shoreline Accretion and Erosion Assessments
  • Marine and Coastal Biological and Habitat Resource Assessments and Characterization
  • Support for Harbor and Port Dredging Projects
  • Wildfire and Vegetation Management
  • Coastal Flood Hazard Analysis and Mapping
  • Groundwater Impact Analysis
Planning & Permitting
  • Local Coastal Program Development and Update
  • Shoreline and Sediment Management Planning
  • Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plans
  • General Plan Safety Elements and Environmental Justice Elements
  • Dredging Material Characterizations, Management, and Permitting
  • Beach and Sediment Management Program and Beneficial Sediment Reuse Program
  • Regulatory Permitting, Entitlement Process, and CEQA/NEPA analysis for Coastal Development Permits and Coastal and Flood Protection Projects
  • Funding Strategies, Grant Application Support
Implementation Compliance
  • Resource Compliance Monitoring and Reporting
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Permit Compliance
  • Cultural and Tribal Consultation and Compliance Monitoring
  • Special Status Species Consultations
  • Monitoring Programs for Critical Infrastructure and Water Districts
  • Baseline Surveys, Monitoring Programs, and Habitat Assessments
  • Climate Change Action Plan, and Shoreline and Coastal Hazards Trigger-Based Monitoring Plans for NPDES and RWQCB

Featured Shoreline Resilience Projects

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Ponto Living Shorelines Coastal Dune Restoration Project

Rincon, in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation, is implementing Phase 1 of a coastal dune restoration project that includes experimentation of the effectiveness of different nature-based solutions techniques to restore dune habitat at Ponto State Beach in Carlsbad. The project aims to restore coastal dune habitat through nature-based solutions. Our approach includes facilitating sand deposition and nurturing native dune vegetation. Additionally, the project will improve public access, reduce sand drift towards Pacific Coast Highway, and reinforce the resilience of both the beach and the highway from sea level rise.

Broad Beach Geologic Hazard Abatement District Sand Nourishment Project

Rincon designed and led comprehensive and detailed habitat mapping and monitoring of shoreline and subtidal marine habitats for the BBGHAD in Malibu. The team utilizes UAVs and sonar to create mosaic habitat maps and define habitat extent. Trained scientists and scientific divers validate and quantify mapping efforts by monitoring the various marine species and environments at the project site and multiple reference sites. The monitoring methods validate habitat changes that are subject to mitigation and associated with natural processes and project activities. Rincon continues to work collaboratively with the client, engineering partners, the California Coastal Commission, and other resource agencies to adaptively refine impact metrics and develop compensatory mitigation ratios and strategies.

City of Goleta Sea Level Rise and Coastal Hazard Analysis Study

Rincon performed a site-specific analysis for an industrial building in Goleta, prone to sea level rise, coastal hazards, and riverine flooding. The detailed report evaluated risks, including future inundation, aligning with California’s Sea Level Rise Guidance by the Ocean Protection Council and Coastal Commission. Utilizing state-of-the-art Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) and site-specific assessments, Rincon projected sea level rise impacts considering the Project’s lifespan. The analysis encompassed the potential effects of 100-year storms, riverine flooding, groundwater fluctuations, and tsunamis. This comprehensive approach offers insights crucial for the proposed engineering design, considering the unique site characteristics, and providing vital foresight for mitigating future coastal risks.

City of Monterey Local Coastal Program Update

Rincon is actively engaged in supporting the City of Monterey’s LCP update, which includes reviewing, updating, and developing policies aligned with the California Coastal Act and the Coastal Commission LCP Update Guide. The city’s planning history involves dividing its coastal area into five subareas, each with specific land use plans (LUPs) prepared during the 1990s. However, only four of these plans received certification from the Coastal Commission; the Laguna Grande Land Use Plan remained uncertified. Presently, the city is consolidating all subarea plans into a draft LUP and initiating the creation of an Implementation Plan (IP). Rincon is assisting the City to finalize the LUP and IP for public review and subsequent adoption by both the Monterey City Council and Coastal Commission by the end of 2023, ensuring effective coastal management.

OneShoreline Millbrae and Burlingame Sea Level Rise Protection and Enhancement

The Millbrae and Burlingame Shoreline Area Protection and Enhancement Project presents a unique chance to safeguard the shoreline across Millbrae, Burlingame, and San Mateo, preserving vital mudflats, tidal marshes, and riparian habitats in the San Francisco Bay. Its primary goal is shielding the area from rising sea levels due to climate change. This initiative doesn’t just focus on protection but also aims to enhance access to the bay for recreational purposes and improve local ecosystems. Rincon is leading the analysis of various design concepts, considering environmental constraints like biological resources, cultural assets, and hazards. Additionally, our involvement spans compliance with CEQA and NEPA, aiding in design concept development, and supporting technical studies for regulatory permits.

City of Pacifica Esplanade Bluff Stabilization Project

The 400 Esplanade Avenue Infrastructure Preservation Project involves maintaining and repairing a rock revetment placed at a coastal bluff’s base to prevent erosion. While initially scoped for CEQA consultation, Rincon discovered the project’s exemption from CEQA due to better definition and design. As a result, Rincon prepared a Notice of Exemption and a Categorical Exemption report for the City, outlining maintenance and repair activities fitting within State CEQA Guidelines. Rincon conducted an archaeological assessment and field reconnaissance survey for biological resources to support this report. Additionally, Rincon is assisting the City in preparing the Coastal Development Permit application necessary for approval by the California Coastal Commission, overseeing compliance beyond CEQA requirements.

Rincon Contributes to California’s Resilient Shoreline One Community at a Time

With 13 offices spanning across California, Rincon has completed coastal and shoreline projects for municipalities and water districts along the State’s shoreline. From local coastal programs to shoreline hazards analyses, Rincon has a wealth of experience and a team of experts that can successfully deliver Grant Support, Policy & Planning, Technical Studies & Innovation, Environmental Impact Assessment (CEQA/NEPA), Regulatory Permitting Strategies, Construction Monitoring & Implementation, and Governance & Engagement services to build a resilient shoreline system to help protect and adapt our local communities and environment to the imminent impacts of climate change.

    Meet the Team

    Kelsey Bennett, LEED-AP

    Director, Environmental & Sustainability Planning

    Colby J. Boggs

    Principal, Biology

    Ellen Cross

    Strategy + Development

    Jennifer Jacobus, PhD

    Principal, Environmental Planning, Water Market

    Derek Lerma

    Marine Resources Program Manager

    Frederico Scarelli, PhD

    Climate Adaptation & Resilience Specialist

    Reema Shakra, AICP

    Principal, Policy & Engagement Planner
    Julie Marshall Portrait

    Eric Vaughan

    Senior Climate Planner

    Want to learn more about our shoreline resilience services?